The Department of International Hospitality and Service Innovation (IHSI) at Saunders College of Business holds awards annually to honor the program's exceptional alumni. The three awards are named after exemplary alums, Sarah Margaret Gillam, Dr. Richard Marecki, and Dr. Paul Kazmierski, who contributed to growing the department.
Congratulations to all nominees! Below are the 2020 award winners and descriptions. For additional information about the nomination process, visit the Saunders alumni page.
The Sarah Margaret Gillam Award
Description: The most prestigious alumni award given by the Department of International Hospitality & Service Innovation to an alumnus/alumna who has distinguished themselves in a significant way in a hospitality career. Criteria for the award is based on the recipient's outstanding contribution to hospitality services and excellence within industry and community.
The Sarah Margaret Gillam Award is named for the 1916 graduate of the Mechanics Institute. Sarah Margaret Gillam taught and developed new courses in foodservice, consulted for both the Veterans Administration and the New York Hospital-Cornell medical center, was a dietitian at Rochester General Hospital and former president and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was named RIT's 1967 Outstanding Alumna.
Award Recipient: Mark Zettl ’96 (hotel and resort management), President, Property Management at JLL.
Dr. Richard Marecki Memorial Award
Description: The Dr. Richard Marecki Award is given to an outstanding Service Leadership and Innovation or Hospitality and Tourism Management alumnus/alumna who characterizes the devotion and searches for learning that Dr. Marecki embodied. Over several decades, Dr. Marecki expanded two programs simultaneously-the Service Leadership and Innovation MS degree and the Hospitality and Tourism MS degree. His foresight and understanding of the service industry and an evolving service economy characterized his lead- the-way approach - a gift he passed on to all those he touched. Alumni in Service Leadership and Innovation or Hospitality and Tourism Management MS programs are eligible.
Award Recipient: Guillermo Graglia MS ’01 (service leadership and innovation), Senior Director at Graglia Consulting.
Dr. Paul Kazmierski Memorial Award
Description: The Paul Kazmierski Award is given to an outstanding Human Resource Development alumnus/alumna who characterizes Dr. Kazmierski's dedication to the field of Human Resource Development and commitment to the learning of others. It honors those who have achieved success in these areas while representing their alma mater. The awardee's achievements highlight the goals of Dr. Kazmierski for all students.
Dr. Kazmierski was a mentor to countless students while also contributing to the College and Rochester community. His contagious love for learning was present in his activities as a counselor, writer, consultant, professor and college administrator. His dedication to the Human Resource Development program included course development and teaching, and his influence continues to impact people. Alumni in the Human Resource Development MS program are eligible.
Award Recipient: Alfreda Brown MS ’96 (human resource development), Retired. Formerly the VP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kent State University.
Women Leaders in Hospitality Award
Description: This award recognizes the women who have demonstrated significant leadership in hospitality-related careers and who are role models for current women students. Alumni in Hospitality and Tourism Management programs are eligible.
Award Recipient: Phaedra Ruffalo ’92 (food marketing and distribution), MS ’94 (hospitality and tourism management), Senior Director, Market Development at American Egg Board.